President Trump will declare a national emergency in order to fund his long-promised border wall. This will enable his administration to move $8 billion from various federal agencies to fund the project, a senior administration said late Thursday.
The news comes as Trump is expected to sign a House border security package that provides $1.4 billion for the project, which is far below the $5.7 billion Trump insisted he needed and would finance just a quarter of the 200-plus miles he wanted to be defended against illegal immigrants.
White House press secretary, Sarah Sanders, said earlier Thursday that Trump will sign the spending bill and declare a national emergency at the same time Friday morning.
The White House said Trump would sign the legislation but act unilaterally to get more funding. This move is prompting condemnations from Democrats and threats of lawsuits from states and others who might lose federal money. Others are insisting that Trump is abusing his authority as Commander in Chief.
In an unusual joint statement, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said such a declaration would be “a lawless act, a gross abuse of the power of the presidency and a desperate attempt to distract” from Trump’s failure to force Mexico to pay for the wall, as he’s promised for years.
“Congress will defend our constitutional authorities,” they said. They declined to say whether that meant lawsuits or votes on resolutions to prevent Trump from unilaterally shifting money to wall-building. Democratic aides are saying they will wait to see what he does.
What are your thoughts about President Trump’s actions? Do you think he is doing the right thing by declaring a national emergency? Will his administration be able to win any lawsuits that try to block this move? We look forward to seeing your comments.